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Son of Brazilian President charged in connection with laundering scam

Brazilian president;s son caught in a laundering investigation

Image: Senado Federal

By Dan Byrne for AMLi

THE SON OF JAIR BOLSONARO has been caught in a laundering investigation over an alleged theft of public funds.

Flávio Bolonsaro – lawyer, businessman, politician and the eldest child of the current Brazilian President – is facing charges for organised crime, embezzlement, money laundering, and misappropriation of funds, according to Brazilian prosecutors.

The charges cover actions committed over an 11-year period between 2007 and 2018, the Ministry of State of Rio de Janeiro announced Wednesday morning.

Bolsonaro is accused of running a type of scheme known in Brazil as rachadinha – ‘crack’ in English.

This scheme involves elected officials profiting from public taxes by keeping ‘ghost employees’ on the payroll or hiring people who agree in advance to return a portion of their earnings to their superiors.

Mr Bolsonaro, who became a Brazilian senator in 2018, has said that he has not done anything illegal, and said the investigations were part of a ‘fishing expedition’ for others to view his financial records.

Prosecutors have said that the case is being conducted with ultimate secrecy and therefore have not released any information beyond the charges.

However, the announcement comes in a direct conflict with one his father President Bolsonaro’s election pledges to rid Brazil of rampant high-level crime and corruption.

The rachadinha scheme has garnered much media attention in Brazil recently, and indeed across the world because President Bolsonaro is also reported to be linked to it.

He remains reluctant to explain a payment of more than $16,000 made to his wife by a colleague and friend Fabrício Queiroz, who also linked the scheme and now facing criminal charges as of Tuesday.

The President has repeatedly become angry to the point of threatening physical assault against those who raise the issue. 

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